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CJ McCollum: ‘I don’t think I can shoot any worse than I’ve been shooting’

James Foglio profile picture
Updated 2 weeks ago on

3 min read

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Pelicans CJ McCollum - 'I don't think I can shoot any worse than I've been shooting'
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New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum believes he can improve his shooting this season. Through 13 games, the 31-year-old is averaging 17.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.4 steals.

He’s also shooting career lows of 39.1% from the field and 27.9% from 3-point range. For more in-depth statistics, McCollum is shooting 93-of-238 from the floor and 24-of-86 from downtown.

Some NBA betting sites are showing the Pelicans with the 13th-best odds to win the championship in 2023. A few sportsbooks are giving Denver Nuggets and Memphis Grizzlies higher odds.

“I don’t think I can shoot any worse than I’ve been shooting,” CJ McCollum said after a shootaround on Monday. “You look at my career, how I’ve played, how I’ve shot. I think I’m due for some leveling out on open shots.”

However, his overall performances have been pretty decent. In 62 starts last season, the guard finished with a total of three double-doubles. Of course, he already has three double-doubles in just 13 starts this season.

Pelicans guard CJ McCollum says he has to shoot better to help his team win more games this season

Following the Pelicans’ 119-106 win over the Houston Rockets, coach Willie Green told reporters the importance of attempting 3-pointers each game.

“I think we have to get a few more threes up,” explained Green. “Especially catch-and-shoot opportunities for us. I think that will help the spacing. It’s just something we need to do more of.”

As of right now, the Pelicans are attempting 27.8 threes per game, the least in the NBA. They also rank 27th in the league for successful 3-pointers, averaging 10.2 per game. CJ McCollum is ready to surprise fans.

Though, New Orleans is one of the best teams based on pure shooting alone. The Pelicans rank sixth overall, shooting 47.9%. Their 3-point shooting percentage is 36.5%, ranking 11th in the league as well.

Entering Tuesday’s matchup against the Grizzlies, the Pelicans now rank sixth in points per game (116.5). At 7-6, the team’s ability to generate points is not the problem.

But if CJ McCollum can make more of his shots, it would certainly help the Pelicans win more games. For a more comfortable win, they’ll need him to shoot better than 28% from outside the arc to defeat Memphis.

Furthermore, Grizzlies guard Jaren Jackson Jr. is listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game versus New Orleans. He could make his season debut at Smoothie King Center.

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James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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